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India's Caste System and American Society: Similarities

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2316 reads )

Source: www.uwf.edu

[HPI note: Dr. M. Lal Goel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at The University of West Florida, wrote about the similarities between India's caste system and American society. You can read the full article at the source link, above. Here is a summary provided by the author.]

UNITED STATES, July 30, 2010: A recent article in Newsweek by Lisa Miller indicated that Americans "are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity." The author cites the following poll data: 67 percent of Americans believe that many religions, not only Christianity can lead to eternal life, reflecting pluralistic Hindu ethos rather than monotheistic Christian view; 30 percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious;" 24 percent say they believe in reincarnation; and more than a third choose cremation rather than burial.

To this list may be added the growing caste-like pluralism and multiculturalism of the American populace. This essay describes features of India's caste system, its origin, the negative impact of Muslim and British imperial rule, and concludes with a description of the American social landscape.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2364 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

The greatest source of strength for any society is its faith in God. The day it renounces such faith will be the day that society begins to die.
   Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Indian Tradition Celebrates Virtue and Lights

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2494 reads )

Source: www.signonsandiego.com

SAN DIEGO, CA, October 24, 2010: As the sun began to set Sunday night, volunteers lit the wicks of dozens of ornate brass lamps arranged near Balboa Park's Alcazar Garden. They were among the thousands of people who had gathered for the third annual Diwali Festival of Light, a little early, in San Diego. [HPI note: Diwali happens on November 4 (India) or 5 (America) this year, though local communities may celebrate them at different dates.]

The holiday is celebrated widely in India and by Indians around the world, said M.C.Madhavan, a professor emeritus of economics and Asian studies at San Diego State University and founder of the San Diego Indian American Society, which helped create the event. The lamps, which were made in India, symbolize fire, sun and the removal of darkness, he said. "It is the celebration of virtue over vice," Madhavan said. More than 1,000 more small lamps were later lit on stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

The Festival of Light has grown each year since it started in 2008, said Martha Ehringer, of the Mingei International Museum, which organized the event along with the San Diego Musem of Art and the San Diego Indian American Society. About 700 people attended that first year, then 3,000 last year. Thousands were expected again this year. "Every year it gets a little grander," Ehringer said.

Participants ate Indian food, got their hands designed with henna, and perused Indian comic books donated by a Bombay-based publishing company. Hundreds of people dressed in colorful traditional Indian garb marched and danced in a procession through the park.

Diwali Lights Up Tribal Lives Liveshttp://www.hindustantimes.com/Diwali-campaign-to-light-up-students-lives/Article1-617589.aspx

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2280 reads )


"Schedule tribes or endogenous communities are amongst the most ecologically evolved communities amongst the world, but sadly also amongst the most economically backward ones in India," says Darren Lobo of Grassroutes. He informs that most tribal villages just receive two-three hours of electricity per day, hampering a child's ability to read or play once the sun sets. Lobo says, "Most parts of rural India function without electricity for several hours a day. We are offering them a renewable lighting system as part of our festive gift gesture to help make a difference to their life."

The renewable lighting system is worth US$15 and will be either be a solar powered lantern or a wind up lantern. The visit to the villages to hand out the lanterns will be made post Diwali on November 13 and 14 (Children's Day). At the village, patrons can also indulge in activities such as milking cows and seeing how the milk is distributed. You could also chop wood, draw water, trek, and star gaze or participate in light rappelling.

Designer Diyas Light up Dewali

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2666 reads )

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

ALLAHABAD, INDIA, October 27, 2010: When it comes to lighting on Diwali, diyas (traditional oil lamps made of clay) occupy a special place. Despite the influx of LED lights and Chinese bulbs, people in the city are still going for the traditional diyas this Diwali. With the changing trends, potters too are wheeling out designer diyas.

A potter in trans-Yamuna area said, "People prefer performing puja in traditional style. At least 11 diyas are lit before Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi on Diwali. Their fire cannot be matched by electrical gadgets.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2772 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

The writers of the Indian philosophies will survive when the British dominion in India shall long have ceased to exist, and when the sources which it yielded of wealth and power are lost to remembrances.
   Lord Warren Hastings (1754-1826), the first governor general of British India

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